Nick Bancroft

Created by Bob Liter
Pseudonyms include Cyn Castle


The original 2002 cover of Murder By the Book.

NICK  BANCROFT is a sometime-freelance investigative reporter and sometime private eye who’s the sole operative of AAA Investigations in Central City, Illinois (loosely based on Peoria), in a series of breezy, medium-boiled books by the late Bob Liter.

Nick’s just a regular guy, a working joe treating himself to an occasional breakfast at Otto’s Tavern, and trying to scratch out a living. In his spare time, he works hard on his love-hate relationship with bowling–fortunately his relationship with sexy librarian Maggie Atley, seems to be on much firmer ground. As is his avid and undying passion for the Chicago Cubs. He even manages, later in the series, to score a young protégé, Bobby Scalf.

The only sore spot in his life? People seem to be always trying to kill him.

Cardinals fans?


Robert T. “Bob” Liter  was born in Hartley, Iowa in 1923, and grew up in Des Moines. He served in the U.S. Navy veteran in World War II and the Korean War, and graduated from Drake University in Des Moines with a degree in journalism. He worked as a copy editor for the Peoria Journal Star, for most of his career, while writing for various True Confession magazines. Upon hid retirement, he began writing novels, most notably the Bob Liter books, which he had initially self-published. 

In 2019, his daughter, Martie Liter Ogborn, decided to re-publish them, with the help of Jean Marie Stine, an American editor, writer, anthologist, and publisher. But Martie has big plans–she intends to carry on her dad’s legacy by continuing the series, with Nick’s niece, J.B. Bancroft, lined up to inherit AAA Investigations.


  • “Power packed … draw the reader into the story from the opening line and hold the attention to the surprising end. Peopled with fascinating, credible characters.”
    — Holly Martin, Black Dragon Reviews
  • “Full of twists and turns. A real Loo-Loo!”
    — Detra Fitch, Huntress Book Reviews
  • “Deft tales of murder, complicity and downright evil, gripping narratives which appeal to the lover of good action-packed mystery thrillers. Highly Recommended.”
    — Molly’s Reviews


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